Legislators from the western suburbs urged the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to finish monsoon preparedness work — such as nullah cleaning and filling potholes — on a priority basis.
In a meeting at an Andheri ward office on Friday, chaired by Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar, MLAs and MLCs raised the issue. On Thursday, the BMC had said that just 10% to 12% of silt had been removed from the nullahs.
Vidya Chavan, Nationalist Congress Party corporator from Goregaon turned MLC said: “The BMC spends over Rs 100 crore every year on nullah cleaning but the silt is still there.”
Vile Parle MLA Krishna Hegde spoke about the civic issues in his constituency.
The meeting was attended by MP Priya Dutt, MLAs Subhash Desai, Ravindra Waikar, Vinod Ghosalkar, Bala Sawant (all from the Shiv Sena), Krishna Hegde, Baldeo Khosa, Ashok Jadhav (all from the Congress), Pravin Darekar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and MLCs Bhai Jagtap, Vinod Tawade and Chavan.
Speaking about the nullahs in his constituency — Irla nullah, Vakola nullah and Sahar nullah — Hegde said: “These nullahs must be desilted as they cause flooding.” He asked Kumar to personally inspect the nullah cleaning. He also demanded resurfacing of roads at Bamanwada, Marol, Shastri Nagar and other areas.
The BMC has allotted nullah-desilting contracts for two years. It spent over Rs 90 crore in the past two years (2009-10, 2010-11) and has budgeted Rs 131 crore over the next two years.
Normally, the BMC finishes 70% of the nullah cleaning work before the monsoon, leaving 20% for the monsoon and 10% for afterwards. Mumbai has more then 200 km of major nullahs and 129 km of minor nullahs. The city has 1,986 km of roadside drains, which join minor nullahs. If the contractors fail to keep the deadline, they are penalised.
The civic body has budgeted Rs 40 crore to fill potholes; most of the work will be done before the monsoon.